Rhône, a private equity firm, announced an agreement to make a significant equity investment in Wahoo Fitness, the technology start-up for indoor cycling and endurance training. As part of this transaction, Wahoo’s founder and Chairman, Chip Hawkins, and the company’s management team, including Chief Executive Officer Mike Saturnia, will make significant reinvestments with Rhône.
Wahoo’s current private equity investor, Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), will continue to own a minority investment in the company.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Wahoo has developed connected-fitness products, software and training content focused on endurance sports athletes. Wahoo’s products include the family of Kickr smart indoor cycling equipment, a full suite of cycling computers and GPS watches under the Elemnt name, and the Tickr family of heart rate monitors. In recent years, Wahoo has increased its offerings through acquisitions including the Speedplay pedal company and The Sufferfest (now SUF) training software.
Wahoo supports ten of the teams currently competing in this year’s Tour de France and three-time Ironman Champion Jan Frodeno.
Rhône believes this investment will capitalize on secular macro trends such as increased emphasis on health and wellness, cycling’s growing popularity and increased adoption of digitally-driven home training tools. Through its international network and experience in retail distribution, Rhône said it is well-positioned to support Wahoo’s plans to continue the expansion of its footprint and distribution channels globally and grow its full suite of solutions for the digital athlete. Wahoo’s historical growth trends are expected to continue as macro category growth is accelerated by the COVID-19 restrictions that forced consumers to shift to in-home training and connected fitness equipment.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. Additional financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Goldman Sachs and Baird advised Wahoo on the transaction. Jones Day served as lead legal advisor and BDO provided transaction advisory services to Wahoo. BofA Securities, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as financial advisors to Rhône on the transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Rhône.
Photo courtesy Wahoo Fitness